Chennai: More than 150 kg of trash was collected from the sands of Kovalam Beach off East Coast Road within two hours during a beach clean-up on Saturday morning. Researchers from the National Center for Coastal Research (NCCR), who led the awareness campaign with local volunteers, classified Kovalam Beach, which had previously been pushed by the state for international Blue Flag certification, as “dirty. In the Clean Coast Index.
PRN scientist Pravakar Mishra, who coordinated the cleanup as part of ‘Swachhata Pakhwada’, said 10% of the waste was face masks and 15% was items used in religious rituals – items they did not ‘had not found during previous beach cleaning activities on the site.
“Compared to our previous cleanup here, Kovalam Beach is slowly deteriorating. But we were surprised not to find plastic spoons, straws and cigarette buds that we usually collect in large quantities during our beach cleanings, ”he said. “We can’t say it’s because of the beach entry ban as we saw over 500 people on the beach while we were involved in the cleanup activity. The absence of straws and spoons could be due to the ban on plastics, ”he said.
Based on the waste collected, PRN scientists calculated the Clean Coast Index (CCI), proposed by an Israeli scientist, and they classified Kovalam beach as “dirty”. ITC has four categories – very dirty, dirty, clean and very clean.
Volunteers also educated visitors and fishermen about beach litter and its impact on marine life and tourism. A group of volunteers with schoolchildren has also been formed to monitor the cleanliness of the beaches and to advise adults on the harmful effects of litter.